Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How to Address the Clergy

Father Mark Kirby alias Don Marco has an informative post about monastic etiquette and the beautiful theology behind it. Here is some additional information, as well, on the proper way to address bishops, priests and nuns. I am always slightly irritated when people call a priest or bishop solely by their last name, without the prefix of "Father" or "Bishop." The reason usually given is that if someone is a heretic or a liberal or just "not nice," then they do not merit the correct title. That is so false. The office is holy even if the man is not, for it is the office of Christ. Anyway, it is not for us to judge, but to offer people the respect due them, as the virtue of justice requires. Share


SuzanneG said...

Elena~Where does "Dame" come from? I'm reading In This House of Brede. And they say "Dame". Don Marco says they say "Suor" or "Sorella".....which is "sister"...so why do they say "Dame" in English?

elena maria vidal said...

"Dame" just means "Lady." Benedictine abbesses had an almost aristocratic status in the Middle Ages and I think that the title "dame" hearkens back to that tradition. I think the ordinary nuns are just called "sister."